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Party with the yuru-kyara in Saitama

by Jun Hongo

Staff Writer

On March 30, Kibitan, Fukushima Prefecture’s Narcissus Flycatcher bird mascot is joining other yuru-kyara regional mascots from across Saitama Prefecture in an event to support the recovery efforts in regions of northeastern Japan affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

The 3/11 Fukko-Shien Yurukyara & Cosplay Event 2014, which also features stage performances by cosplay dancers from Saitama, takes place at the Katakura Woody plaza inside Katakura Park in Saitama. Though the star and yuru-kyara of honor is Kibitan, many of Saitama’s cutest and brightest characters will be there, including the prefectural mascot Kobaton, a pigeonlike bird, and Tomachan, a tomato-headed creature from the city of Kitamoto, which is, of course, known for tomatoes.

Some mascot celebrities are predictably cute, such as Tsurugon, the green dragon from the city of Tsurugashima in Saitama, while others are amusingly odd, like Kyuporan of Kawaguchi city, who is based on a cupola furnace to represent the city’s metal-casting industry. If you’re a fan, it’s a great opportunity to have your picture taken with your favorites.

The 3/11 Fukko-Shien Yurukyara & Cosplay Event 2014 takes place on March 30 at Katakura Park beside Saitama Shintoshin station in Saitama. Entrance is free. Performances on stage will start from 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.yokoso-saitama.com